LONDON (Reuters) - BHP (BHP.AX) (BLT.L), the world's largest miner, said on Friday it was disappointed the United States had decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, but it did not affect its support for the deal and other countries should stay in.
CEO Andrew Mackenzie held talks with Donald Trump in January shortly before he took office as president and tried to persuade him to stick with the pact agreed in December 2015 in Paris.
Trump on Thursday said he was withdrawing from the deal, rejecting the advice of Mackenzie and many others, including his daughter Ivanka.
"We note, with disappointment, the decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord," BHP said in a statement.
"However, it does not impact our long-held support for the agreement which we believe provides a solid foundation for a global response to climate change and for the transition to a less than 2°C outcome."BHP is the world's biggest producer of coking coal and a major producer of iron ore, both of which are used in steel-making, a major source of carbon emissions.
It has lent its backing to a carbon price to help curb emissions, invested in carbon capture and storage technology to sequester emissions produced by burning fossil fuel and says it regularly updates its portfolio to assess its sustainability.
While some small miners have said the Paris agreement could add to costs and limit options for exploration, other major miners, like BHP, have published sustainability reports that have explored the risk that investors could turn away from coal mines.
Glencore (GLEN.L), which is the biggest shipper of export quality coal, says the fuel is likely to remain the cheapest source of energy for many emerging economies, but it is seeking to use more renewable energy for its own operations.
It had no comment on Trump's decision.
Reporting by Barbara Lewis; editing by Jason Neely